Welcome to the start of another exciting school year.
CBSSports.com College Network anticipates a productive and rewarding year ahead. To start, we recently released our new iOS and Android mobile app offerings. We are pleased with the positive feedback from our partners and their fans. You can read more about the positive reviews, along with a list of our top downloaded apps, in this newsletter. We expect to rollout additional new technology and upgrades throughout the school year.
Consumers continue to desire quality, live-game streams and are becoming more comfortable paying for this content. Fueled by quality football, eight of our partners had over 1,000 active monthly subscribers in September - making it the highest-grossing month in the history of All-Access.
Please continue to keep us abreast of how our partnership can better serve you. We remain committed to providing you and your fans with the best possible digital experience.
Keynote Performance Click here to view how CBSSports.com College Network stacks up against the competition in the September Keynote Performance Report. You will find that Network members enjoy greater site performance (average
download time in seconds) and availability (percentage of connection attempts that succeed) than schools partnered with other service providers. Specifically, in one example, average CBS Official Athletic Site download time was more than seven seconds faster than a competitor's site.
New Ad Units
In an effort to expand the ad unit options for your sponsors and ours, we are exploring the addition of two new offerings.
The "Half Page/Filmstrip" is 300x600 pixels in size and the "Portrait" is 300x1050. These ad units command higher CPMs than standard units. If you think you would be interested in placing these on your OAS during an upcoming redesign, please let your University Relations representative know.
For $250, a fan will see his or her text run twice and receive a picture of the message on the ribbon board.
Contact your online account manager or University Relations representative if you would like to begin a similar initiative for your store.
New Auction Record
Wisconsin set a new CBSSports.com College Network all-time winning bid record for a single auction: $18,000 for the "Wisconsin Football vs. Nebraska 10/1 - VIP Suite Experience".
The previous high was $15,800 for USC's "Ultimate Football Package vs. Ohio State", followed by Alabama's "Authentic Circle A Locker Room Carpet" at $15,200 and Notre Dame's "Football VIP Weekend Package vs. USC" at $10,000.
Holiday Gift Guide Splash Page
Your online account manager will be reaching out in the next few weeks to get started on our holiday gift guide splash pages.
This year's edition will feature an updated design that highlights the best of your online store product assortment and any additional items you would like to promote as gift ideas (auctions, DVDs, tickets, photos, etc.).
PCI Compliance Upgrade
Our in-house e-commerce platforms (online stores and auctions) have been upgraded to a SAQ A level of PCI compliance from our previous level of SAQ D. This means we are now PCI compliant at the lowest liability level possible (customer credit card data is no longer stored on our servers), but customers maintain the benefit of being able to assign a credit card to their saved profiles in both systems.
Netitor Publishing Upgrade
We have a new Netitor publishing feature, the "subhead" field, that increases content presentation and design flexibility.
The subhead field is available to users when editing lead headlines in BSI and is intended to house straight text only. The text entered into this field remains hooked to the headline. If a headline falls out of the lead space, the text is retained and shows again if the headline is promoted back into the lead space.
Prior to the addition of this field, those who wanted that text to accompany the thumbnails in the BSI rotation were left with having to make use of an existing field that was not meant for such a purpose, present a sport name, or present nothing.
Bio & Roster Upgrade
We are in the final stages of Phase I of our Bio/Roster overhaul, which drives the following content into your bios:
Netitor now allows you to associate news articles and audio/video to current student-athletes and coaches when you publish that content. Users have had the ability to associate photo galleries for quite some time (we started preparing for this long ago). Additionally, Netitor automatically associates news articles to the names found within the recaps/releases and provides you the opportunity to add or remove names, even across multiple sports.
In the coming weeks, we will begin presenting this content in bios. Initially, we will present the five most recent associations in each category. Click here to see how this content will be presented.
Silver Chalice App Update
The fall season is underway with our new crop of official mobile apps on iOS and Android. Users have flocked to the new apps for live scoring and live audio, with over 100,000 active installs on Android and 40,000 on iOS through September. A sample of some of the positive fan feedback schools have seen in the iTunes stores includes Florida State, ECU and Ole Miss.
The top 10 schools in terms of downloads are:
1. Florida State
4. Ohio State
5. South Carolina
A BlackBerry version will be released later this fall, and enhancements to the initial release are planned in time for the winter sports season to deliver fans the best mobile experience available.
Our mobile sites are now updated to include the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) chooser screen. With the screen, if a fan navigates to your OAS with an iPhone, Droid or a similar device with a full internet browser, he or she will have the option to view the full site or the mobile version.
The CBSSports.com College Network Software Development team is committed to providing your fans with the most efficient and user-friendly online experience. Audience demand for video content continues to grow at a tremendous pace. We have taken proactive steps to ensure uninterrupted access and uptime for our All-Access subscription multimedia platform.
In order to meet the demand of your fans during peak viewing times, we have enhanced our server infrastructure, optimized our source code, maximized efficiency on our database calls and added extra layers of data caching for the All-Access subscription multimedia platform. This will ensure faster page load times, quicker search results and will get your fans to the content they crave faster than ever.
Our partners helped make September 2011 the highest-grossing month in the history of our All-Access subscription multimedia platform.
Live football streaming video content helped eight partner schools drive past the 1,000 active monthly subscriber mark for their first time since joining the CBSSports.com College Network. Schools that carried live streaming video of football games in September consistently tripled their active monthly subscribers after the first broadcast.
The Big Ten Network (BTN) and CBSSports.com College Network announced in mid-September a new, landmark partnership to create the Big Ten Digital Network, which will bring content from the official athletic websites for 11 Big Ten Conference universities, the Big Ten Conference and BTN into one consumer offering. A Big Ten Digital Network subscription, priced at $14.95 a month or $119.95 a year, provides access to audio and video from all 12 schools and more than 500 live events a year not televised by the TV network. To learn more about this partnership, click here.
In addition, CBSSports.com College Network, as part of a five-year partnership extension with Conference USA, launched the Conference USA Digital Network. The network will aggregate content from C-USA's official site and all 12 member school sites onto one platform. All 12 C-USA institutions will offer a subscription package on their official athletic sites, featuring live and on-demand video from school-specific athletic contests and events. An additional subscription package aggregating all C-USA video content will be promoted and sold across all C-USA school sites in the CBSSports.com College Network. You can read more about the Digital Network here.
On August 30, CBSSports.com assisted Kansas State University and K-State Athletics in launching K-StateHD.TV. This subscription service offers coverage of Wildcat student-athletes, live games, on-site pre-game shows, exclusive features and interviews -- all shot and produced in HD -- as well as classic games and campus programming. You can read more about the launch here.
Thank you for your continued support. Please send us any feedback that will help us improve our quarterly newsletter.
Regards, Robert Schupler
SVP, University Sales and Marketing
CBSSports.com College Network